As the camogie club championship is getting back to business at the end of April, we thought we’d begin a new segment of our My Club and I series with members of the four intermediate championship camogie panels.
Up now is Rosemarie Bermingham, who has long been associated with her club, O’Moores.
Here Rosemaries speaks about her earliest memories of the sport, who she looked up to growing up and her favourite memories involving O’Moores.
What’s your earliest camogie memory?
My earliest camogie memory was tagging along at training and matches with my sister, Caroline. She played with Mountmellick underage and then O’Moores when it was formed in 2004.
I particularly remember togging out for an U-16 team with Caroline when she played with Mountmellick. I was 10 at a time and was delighted to get a jersey!
Can you tell us a bit about the club?
O’Moores was formed in 2004 as an amalgamation of Mountmellick and Ballyfin Camogie clubs.
Over the years, it has grew to include the wider areas of Rosenallis, Clonaslee, The Rock and Kilcavan.
O’Moores has had great success at underage, winning u14, u16 and numerous minor titles. We contested five senior county finals before winning our first senior title in 2016.
2018 was our most successful year to date, winning the u14 All-Ireland Feile and securing our second senior championship.
Can you remember the first time you went to compete with the club?
A stand out memory for me was playing in the Laois Feile Blitz in Mountmellick when I was 11 or 12 and finally old enough to play with O’Moores. The youngest grade in Laois for camogie at the time was U-14.
Camogie in the county has come a very long way since then with huge numbers of five and six year olds now playing camogie with their clubs. It’s great to see how camogie has grown in the county in a short space of time.
What is your favourite memory while being involved?
My favourite memory was definitely winning the senior county final in 2016. Nothing can compare to hearing that final whistle and knowing we had got over the line in a serious battle with Camross.
We had lost a good few finals before winning one and victory definitely was sweet. It’s a moment I’ll remember forever.
A hugely special moment for the club also was winning the all Ireland U-14 Feile final this year. A good few senior girls traveled west for the Feile and I think it’s safe to say we were far more emotional after the Feile final than we were after our own finals.
They showed massive heart and determination throughout the competition and the senior girls are counting down the years until we have those girls playing with us.
Did you enjoy much success in the underage grade?
We were quite unlucky at underage. We contested almost every final but lost out to Camross on several occasions. To be fair, they had excellent teams at underage level during those years.
I didn’t win a camogie county medal of any sort until 2016 when we won our first senior final.
Who did you look up to in the club when you were younger?
Elaine and Caitriona Downey who played with the county for years and were key players with the club. Their commitment to the club and to county both on and off the field was amazing.
I also admired Anita Dooley for her ‘no fear’ attitude. I remember having to mark her at training when I was 15 or 16 and thinking that if I could survive the training, I’d survive anything.
What young player in your club would you say is one to watch out for?
One player that stood out for me last year was Amy Flanagan. She is strong, fast, skillful and fearless on the field. When the Feile final was in the balance she stood up and was counted. Definitely one to watch for the future!
If you could do anything to improve the club, what would it be?
I think a dream for O’Moores and for a lot of women’s clubs around the country is to own their own club grounds.
The surrounding GAA clubs are extremely generous with their facilities and we are so grateful for this. However, it would be lovely to have somewhere where we could train and play consistently.